Saturday, December 31, 2011

Roller Coasters - or - Why we're going to the Disney Marathon

Alex and I are heading to Florida on January 5th to Run Disney - well at least he's running, I'll be playing my usual role of support person/photographer. Some of you have heard me say that running the Disney Marathon is just an excuse to go ride roller coasters and, while we are both very much looking forward to the Disney Marathon, there's a lot of truth in my statement.

I like to read about rollercoasters,
I read about them everyday,
There are loops and turns everywhere,
and you can laugh and scream "Hurray!"

You can find them in an amusement park,
You can ride them in the light or dark,

As you ride them up and down,
You can find them in cities or find them in town.

By: Alex Bain
Alex has loved Roller Coasters since he was a very little boy. His intense interest lasted many years and my wish to take him to ride the big roller coasters is a very old and unfulfilled wish now. Here's a page from my old autism website discussing Alex's roller coaster obsession.

He had a set of Roller Coaster VHS tapes he loved dearly that lived in our VCR for quite some time. (AMERICA'S GREATEST ROLLER COASTER THRILLS #1 & #2, WORLD'S GREATEST ROLLER COASTER THRILLS ) The 2 that survived are tucked away somewhere as are the cars from his Little Tykes Roller Coaster.

He also had a book, still on his shelf, Roller Coasters. Later he got into Roller Coaster Tycoon on his laptop.

In grade 5 and 6 when "Miss Ross" was his TA, she encouraged his drawing and he drew countless Roller Coasters, often combining other loves by making a park to go with them or making them an Olympic event. He even drew a Roller Coaster based Monopoly board.

His Roller Coaster T-Shirt collection is thanks to "Alex in Massachusetts" who vacations on PEI every summer and shares not only Alex's name but his roller coaster passion. Here he is in Elmira at Alex's Tip-to-Tip run wrap-up party where "Alex in Massachusetts" had just presented him with the latest t-shirt.

Some of these shirts, now outgrown, are part of Alex's blanket, some are put away waiting to be made into a blanket and many are still worn often (though they are wildly outnumbered by running shirts now!)

Alex has been on the Cyclone at Sandspit and a coaster in a mall in Quebec on his Grade 9 school trip but that's it.

My long held wish is about to come true as we spend our time after the Marathon in Disney's and Universal's Parks checking out the Roller Coasters and other thrill rides. (Unfortunately I'll have to ride along if I want to truly experience Alex experiencing the ride.....!!)

Good luck to all the Islanders running Disney!

hope we see you there!

There will be lots of photos of our adventure.... if I survive the Roller Coaster parts...

Assume the position...
arms up, mouth open and round...


Adelaide Dupont said...

Alex and Jypsy:

Hope you have a wonderful experience of the Marathon and the roller coasters.

(One of my own favourites is probably the Mad Mouse. It is a travelling roller coaster that comes to the big agricultural shows).

Phil Schwarz said...

Enjoy both the linear acceleration (running) and the angular (rollercoastering) :-)!
When Jeremy was little we used to go to Storyland, in Conway NH, a theme park for younger children. They have a gorgeous vintage turn-of-the-20th-century gravity-driven rollercoaster -- way too gentle by 21st-century big-kid standards, but perfect for tots. Jeremy *loved* it but I was white-knuckled and queasy all the way down, because of my lack of vestibular function. (When I was 8 years old, I contracted encephalitis as a complication of the mumps and it destroyed the auditory and vestibular nerves on my left side. After about 2 weeks of awful vertigo, my brain learned to notch out the vestibular feedback from my right side, and I've functioned ever since with essentially no vestibular input. Proprioception is entirely through vision for me. Apparently rollercoasters are an edge case in which that adaptation doesn't work so well for me :-(.)

dinah said...

Fantastic to think of Alex finally getting to go on some really great (ie absolutely terrifying to me!) roller coasters. I remember the passion and those pictures from long ago, and the boy Alex now a man. What a bunch of great people we have bred, us autistic grannies :)

adair said...

Asia has a similar love of roller coasters. I have the Cedar Point website on my computer for her to look at all the coasters. She'd rather go to Cedar Point than about anyplace else. Has Alex ever been there? It was so fun to read your accounts on FB about the Disney trip. So glad you had a good time.